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Don't Wait! Vaccinate!

 

Paper Trained

by 

Scott Sandeman, D.V.M.


Measles outbreaks across the nation have highlighted the importance of consistent, widespread vaccinations and the sometimes tragic consequences of complacency.  While the decisions some people make to not start or suspend vaccinations in themselves or their children are varied, the science is clear regarding the benefits- a healthier population.  Pets are also at risk of serious illness when well meaning owners forego critical preventative care.  

It’s equally important to recognize that immunizations can have side effects.  The overwhelming majority of time, pets experience only mild effects that last for less than 48 hours.  Symptoms like minor pain or swelling at the vaccination site are the most common.  Some pets may as well have a decreased appetite or not feel active.  If the pet is uncomfortable, a short course of an anti-inflammatory drug - veterinarian often prescribe non-steroidal drugs like Rimadyl or Onsior-can speed up recovery.  Less common are small firm nodules that may develop where a vaccination is given.  These areas develop over a 1-2 week period and usually disappear in another month. Those that dont completely resolve, should be checked by your veterinarian.

Even more rare are serious reactions that could compromise breathing or cause swelling to the face or body. Vomiting or diarrhea that lasts longer than a day or extreme lethargy is also rare but a concern.  These potential consequences should be attended to at the first sign of an issue and treated by a veterinarian.

In both cats and dogs, outbreaks of respiratory diseases or serious infections from parvovirus or distemper occur around the country and can often be traced to areas where vaccine compliance is poor.  Make sure you keep your pets up date and always discuss the benefits and risks with your veterinarian-your pet owning neighbors will be glad you did!, 

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